Gale Hawthorne

VV’s Spoiler-Free The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Review

We saw Mockingjay Part 2 last night and we want to scream all the details with absolute elation from the rooftops. But we won’t, because it’s only Thursday and we’re not terrible people who want to spoil it all for the masses. So we’re going to give a general, spoiler-free review.

12043070_10153658258916810_107667881438186217_nReally, this is all about THE FEELS. There are a lot of them. I went to the Mockingjay Double Feature and I started to tear up during Mockingjay Part 1, which is something I didn’t even do the first time I saw it, just from the sheer momentum of what was to come. It’s the end of an era, but if it’s gotta end.. Damn, at least it went out with a bang!

We’ve read the books more than once and talked about them at length here, so like many of you, we knew what was coming. Know this: Being aware of what will happen and watching it unfold in a visual medium are two very different things. There were several situations throughout the movie in which waiting for the other shoe to drop amped up either the tension or the excitement for me– sometimes both. It’s a testament to the way Francis Lawrence and his team purposefully crafted the film to squeeze every possible emotion from the tale.

297A9B5D00000578-3117094-image-m-29_1433866860839Likewise, the action is pulse-pounding and sharp. The film deftly portrays the horror of violence and war without glorifying it, exactly as its source material sets out to do. With the details covered pretty thoroughly in Part 1, this film wastes no time jumping into the action. The pacing isn’t too breakneck, but you don’t have much downtime until the last few scenes.

More than being utterly gripping, this film is the franchise’s best tribute to Suzanne Collins’ work. The film follows the book more closely than any movie before it without losing its cinematic glow. The popular scenes and quotes that you’re waiting for are there, perhaps delivered in a way you didn’t always expect but powerful nonetheless. That’s not to say there aren’t any changes, but they were pretty minor and didn’t affect the overall viewing experience for us. We were hit hard by one scene change in particular, knowing it was due to Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely passing.

19291497-20776541-thumbnailThe acting has always been superb in the franchise, but I genuinely think they give their best performances to date. Liam Hemsworth transforms Gale’s broody nature into something more fierce and palpable and Jennifer Lawrence just is Katniss Everdeen, but this is especially true for Josh Hutcherson, who truly rose to the occasion and portrayed Peeta’s compromised mental state with a zinging undercurrent of desperation and earnest. Of course, the supporting cast was also wonderful as always, particularly Julianne Moore as Alma Coin and the members of Squad 451, who really got to sink their teeth into this script.

new-effie-stillWhile I ultimately loved the film and its sweet ending, we do imagine that– as is the case with most epilogues– it will become a source of debate in years to come. It’s more about your perception of the characters and their lives in the aftermath than the actual content.. aaaand that’s all we shall say about that for now.

Urgh. We love this film. We love this franchise. We are clearly biased as all hell, but if you’re here, we think you will too. If you’re a Hunger Games fan, this final movie has so much to offer you and you will not be disappointed!

We’ll Do The Crazy Spoiler Edition Soon,
The Girl With The Pearl

A Witchy New Look For Our Hunger Games Favorites

Earlier this week, The Girl With the Pearl had some fun with the new features in the Mockingjay app. You can use the app to scan your face, and then you can apply crazy Capitol makeup or the red rebel Mockingjay.

We discovered this week that Lionsgate has another nifty facial manipulation tool in support of another one of its movies, The Last Witch Hunter. Only instead of applying “Capitol” looks, the face is transformed into “witch” style from the movies, and then you use potions to hide your inner witch. We haven’t seen the movie, so this could be wrong, but we’ll go along with it for the fun of using this tool. It’s not as snazzy as the Mockingjay app, so instead of being super high tech and scanning your face, this little feature works from still images (the image just needs to be facing forward, not in profile).

Almost instantly I knew which pictures I had to use to try this baby out… Not ME. NO! Our favorite Hunger Games movie characters!

So in honor of promotional crossover, Halloween, and general hilarity, I give you our Hunger Games favorites, if they were in the Last Witch Hunter universe.

creepy katniss

Katniss looks even more menacing now, huh Snow?


Hijacked Peeta has a whole new meaning now.

prim goth

Prim looks less of a witch a more a teen having a goth phase.


Gale, a few years after the war goes all mountain man (and Witch Hunter, if Vin Diesel’s look in the movie is any clue).

I imagine this was not the intended purpose of that site, but oops.

Creativity just cannot be contained.


Breaking Down That New Clip

Among all the many presents dropped on October 1 to entice us to buy Mockingjay Part 2 tickets, was A MOVIE CLIP. A pretty nice sized one too! We loved the clip – it showed Squad 451 as Boggs explained the mission. This clip is a good way for the uninitiated to get a sense for what Katniss & Co will be doing in the Capitol. We waited until today to post this because technically you were only supposed to see this clip if you purchased tickets on Fandango. But the fandom said, “Fuck that, here’s my link guys – enjoy.” But now that Fandango’s hold on it is over, hello YouTube!

First things first, Finnick’s here! We love Finnick and Katniss’s friendship but Katniss’s line about him having a “short honeymoon” made us need a hug too.

katniss finnick hugs

Then Boggs introduces the team (hi Jackson) and lays out the mission.

boggs laying down the mission

Katniss doesn’t have much to do in this clip other than listen and look worried, but that’s ok. We’ve seen plenty of ACTION KATNISS in the trailers.

katniss listening

Then, (ohhh we love this part) Gale has to get all huffy that since they’re the “star squad” they’re “not going to fight.” AND BOGGS SHUTS HIM DOWN and tells him to do as he’s told. Jackson’s face in this shot is GREAT too.

boggs takes gale down a notch

Sorry, sorry. Yes, Gale. Dial it back.

gale backs down

Then, there’s the holo that shows very prettily the places of things that promise horrible death.


For the finale, Finnick, and his on point WELCOME TO THE 76TH HUNGER GAMES.

finnick 76th

So, a great clip to start us off, and it gives us further confidence about the look and tone of the film.

More please, but maybe spread it out to multiple days?


What Those Mockingjay Part 2 Stills Are Really Saying

For so long, we sat at our computers bemoaning the total lack of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 promotion, begging Lionsgate to “just give us something!”

Now they’re giving us ALL THE THINGS. Right now. At the same damn time as all the other things. Yesterday, we got a poster. Today, tickets went on sale and Fandango users will get a new clip if they purchase when 24 hours (if you’re in a prominently region like us, look to the inevitable piracy). Entertainment Weekly also released a still cover featuring photoshop-y Katniss, Peeta, and Gale from Tim Palen’s upcoming book o’ portrait wonders and eight new stills. Tomorrow, the final trailer hits… but only at Best Buy. Again.

Clearly, that’s a lot to talk about. AND WE WILL. But today, we’re gonna focus in on those stills. You may not realize it, but there’s a message in each character’s eyes. There’s some serious thought there that they’re trying to get out. We’ll translate for you.


“Urghh… It looks like we’re still committed to playing out the love triangle that nobody wants. Seriously, it’s giving me a migraine…”



“Da na na na, da na na na, da na na na, da na na na… CROSSBOW! The weapon for guys who want to impress chicks but don’t have any real skill!”



“We’re all pretty psyched about confronting the enemy! ..Except Peeta. He still doesn’t know what the fuck to do with his gun.”



“I’m just the basic bitch behind the camera, so Imma sit back and encourage the real badass to do all the killing despise her worst fears blooming to life before her eyes. How else do you think I keep my hair firmly to one side?”



“And then those freaking mutts showed up and I was like… tumblr_mvhy9xAFC41s822dfo1_250


“Why are we in The Hunger Games franchise playing bad cop/reluctant cop, again? We were born to play Legolas’ twin sisters in Lord of the Rings, thank you very much!”



“Look, Katniss, it’s not that I’m not saddened by your sister’s death. It’s just that.. if I’m going to drop you off in District 12 in place of Plutarch and mourn with you for a moment, I’m gonna look fly as fuck as I do it. Plzkthx.”



“You thought you had your shit together by this point in the movie, didn’t you? THINK AGAIN, WOMAN!

That’s Our Story And We’re Stickin’ To It,
The Girl With The Pearl

REACTION POST: MockingJay Part 2 Trailer #2

We have another trailer, so you know what that means! It’s time for a Victor’s Village reaction post!

This one starts off on a bit of a sad note– You’ll notice that Them There Eyes is no longer with us. She’s stepped away from the Internet for a while to focus on some real life commitments, but we still love her to death and wish her all the best!

As for JJ and The Girl With The Pearl, We March Together with you through the glorious battlefield of fandom (See what we did there?!) And so, the reaction post goes on!

Be aware that this baby contains spoilers if you haven’t read the books! Also, there’s lots to it, so be sure to hit the “READ MORE” link if you’re viewing from the main page!


The Girl With The Pearl: Let’s start with this: The trailer has a name, which is not always something we’ve seen in the past. What do you think of We March Together?

Are we referring to this *cough* TOTALLY NATURAL marching scene?

Are we referring to this *cough* TOTALLY NATURAL marching scene?

JJ: Eh, it’s got that revolution vibe, which is good. And there is that scene of Katniss strutting down to “get” Snow. But… is does it add much to the actual trailer? Not sure. It feels like something they did to track views better online actually.

TGWTP: Being the picky bastard that I am, I couldn’t help but think about how they NEVER march together

JJ: Lol. But Paylor wants them too.

TGWTP: All these District are essentially using the same guerilla warfare tactics. No marching! Katniss sure never marched anywhere with anyone

JJ: Katniss doesn’t march with anyone, you’re right. It’s more of an afterthought of something that sounds good for trailer title.

TGWTP: It should be called We Want To March Together, then! Though it doesn’t have the same ring to it.

JJ: Marching together is for winners!


The greenhouse! The mansion in the distance! Hoooooly....

The greenhouse! The mansion in the distance! Hoooooly….

TGWTP: But I suppose the title doesn’t matter, because man… did this start with Snow’s final conversation with Katniss?!

JJ: Yes, I think they did. That’s one of the amazing thing about both the teaser and this trailer. They mush the timeline all around, yet it presents the story beautifully!

TGWTP: It’s not something non-readers would recognize, but for books fans… OOF! You can hear the raggedness of his voice, plus the image of Katniss approaching the greenhouse…

JJ: If you’ve got Donald Sutherland, use that’s man’s voice for all it’s worth. What a chilling open.


TGWTP: And then we get Paylor, which is just so welcome. I kinda worry that characters like hers will be written off, but she’s prominent in a trailer!

Pay attention! Paylor knows what's up!

Pay attention! Paylor knows what’s up!

JJ: I love that they are building her up. In the books, we don’t really see her rise because it happens away from Katniss, but I like how they’re really going to show her as a leader. Will make the ending make a lot more sense. And it was a great way to explain the plot of the movie quickly too.

TGWTP: Yes! We saw the tar before, now the people who haven’t read the books know what that’s about. And it establishes Paylor as a tactical leader.

JJ: Just in those few secs of her speech it solidifies her credibility as a leader. Good stuff

TGWTP: I did kinda laugh at the beginning of her speech though, because we get a quick look at Plutarch, Effie, and Haymitch– our only look at all three from this trailer– and it’s THE SAME CUT from the last trailer. We couldn’t find three different shots of those three?!

JJ: Yeah, bah, come on! There were a bunch of those reused shots.

TGWTP: Oh, I get that. We got plenty of recycling of scenes but that was so very obvious because it was a montage-y sequence.


JJ: But can we talk about the timing of when she talks about THE FUTURE STARTS TOMORROW.

TGWTP: YES. YES WE CAN. Because we see the future there! *flails*

The moment at which we all squealed!

The moment at which we all squealed!

JJ: That was just for us fans. Thanks to whoever cut that. You could think that was just a natural thing… but WE KNOW. A lot of the trailer has those type of fan-friendly moments. So thanks, guys!

TGWTP: Yes, somebody definitely said “Let’s throw THIS in here real quick for the big fans.”

TGWTP: And there were a couple moments where everything was combined to inflict maximum hurt, so let’s discuss those. Katniss talks about nothing good being safe while Snow is alive as she dances with Prim.

JJ: Yup, another moment taken from the teaser, but understandable since it’s the core of what she’s fighting for. And we need to make that end hurt more.

TGWTP: Gale talking about how Katniss needs to make her one shot count. URGH. That got to me.

JJ: Oooh, I didn’t pick up on that.

Tigris' hair: Cockblocking Gale's lines since last week

Tigris’ hair: Cockblocking Gale’s lines since last week

TGWTP: It’s very quick. She says she only has one shot. He says “Let’s make it count”

JJ: Oh yes, when he’s in Tigris’s shop. I was distracted by Tigris’s hair! But “making it count.” Ugh.

TGWTP: Exactly. Those are probably two different scenes (and yes, it’s Tigris!) but they’re blended for the best effect to reference Coin’s death later.

JJ: Messing with the timeline again! But it works. Then you have Peeta’s part.

TGWTP: I think it’s NO COINCIDENCE that they’re showing lizard mutts while Peeta is talking about Snow owning their deaths and how the deaths matter if Katniss defeats Snow.

JJ: “Our lives were never ours…” *tears* Finnick battling the lizards was a great shot.

TGWTP: That is an incredible line. Screenwriting prowess, ftw!


The Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer Will Blow Your Fandom-Loving Mind

The countdown is over! The trailer is here! IT IS OFFICIALLY TIME TO FLIP OUT!

It’s been two weeks since the first full Mockingjay Part 2 trailer was previewed at Comic-Con (that previous 2 minute preview was considered a “teaser”) and now, the rest of us are finally getting a glimpse of the action. And damn, is there action! We were pretty psyched with the last trailer, but Katniss and her crew have never been more intense than what we’re getting here!

Expect a full trailer breakdown soon. Today we’ll be too busy watching and re-watching to firmly express our thoughts without melting into fangirl mode!

What do you think of this latest trailer?!

We’ve Got Character Posters!

Lionsgate is starting Comic-Con week with a bang with the release of 8 cool character posters for Mockingjay Part 2.

And YESSSSS we like it.

All the posters have the tag UNITE – THE REVOLUTION IS ABOUT ALL OF US, which ties in to the Three Finger Salute billboards from a few weeks ago. And everyone is branded with the sign of the Mockingjay, in red, mimicking warpaint. But everyone has a unique word on the left side to set things apart.

Katniss Peeta SDCC

Katniss is PANEM UNITE which makes sense. Peeta is SONS cause why not? (And what’s with the light eyes? Does hijacking make them finally… blue? Kidding. But not)

gale johanna

Gale is all about the BROTHERS, though we wish we could’ve seen some of his actual brothers in the movie. And Johanna appropriately brings up the rebels. We can’t tell if she’s really sad here, or just really fucking annoyed to be photographed for these things. Probably both.

finnick prim

Newly married Finnick represents the husbands (hey the world knows because of the teaser trailer). And Prim gives us sisterhood feels. And the blood-red color on both these faces is even more chilling when you know the ending.

cressida boggs

Finally we have Cressida and Boggs representing the activists and the soldiers.

The black and red of these posters are VERY INTERESTING. They of course set the mood very well, but we also wonder if they fit nicely with a red Mockingjay-suited Katniss propo to come?

One additional thing that we liked, and may have just happened because it worked out like that and no other reason, but it’s still remarkable. Katniss’s poster is not DAUGHTERS UNITE, it’s PANEM UNITE. One of the very few redeeming qualities of Panem is that women have authority in this world as well, and it’s no big deal. It’s just how things are. This will be further enforced in the last saga with Commanders Paylor and Lyme. And Panem’s symbolic leader, the Mockingjay, while a daughter, represents the entire country, so they correctly chose to emphasize that first.

We’re overwhelmed, in a very good way!


GALLERY: The Hunger Games Exhibition

You’ve probably noticed that there’s been lots of goodness from The Hunger Games Exhibition all around the web, including over on our Instagram page. Now, we’re sharing all the photos from our Hunger Games Exhibition with you!

If you like these glimpses, stay tuned for a detailed report on the super fun exhibition!

Trailer Hints from the New Stills

Tomorrow is a long-awaited day. We waited, we implored, we got indignant, and then waited some more and tomorrow a Mockingjay Part 2 trailer will be released (even if Lionsgate won’t flat out admit it, Nina Jacobson will).

The big debate going on right now is whether this trailer will be an in-universe propo without film footage, or a more traditional teaser trailer that sets the tone for the film with actual film footage.

Our guess it that it’s going to be the latter. Yes, the poster released last week tied back to the President Snow propaganda videos, but last week we also got STILLS released on the actors’ Facebook pages (YAY). When stills are released prior to a trailer, they often are from scenes IN THE TRAILER, and we think that will happen this time. Or that’s what we’re hoping!

Still 1 was released on the Jennifer Lawrence Facebook page and shows Katniss, Gale, Messalla, and Finnick in the field… somewhere. Presumably District 2. We were struck by how particularly young and innocent Katniss looks in this picture, while in her battle gear. She’s also in the standard D13 gear not the Mockingjay suit.

mj2 jen

Still 2 was released on Josh Hutcherson’s Facebook page and shows Peeta, looking good. As in not hijacked which is of course fabulous news but also good as in really really attractive. Wow, Peeta.


Looking carefully at the darkened background it appears to be a richly decorated space. We’re thinking it’s either Tigris’s shop or a Capitol apartment.

Still 3 was released on Friday via Liam Hemsworth’s Facebook and is Gale, looking intense with his crossbow in another darkened space. Once we looked beyond the Hemsworth hotness, we noticed a pipe and lots of wet, drippy concrete, which indicates the scenes of them in the Capitol sewers.

MJ2 Gale

If our guess that the stills tie in to the teaser is correct, this means we’re going to see (very short) parts of all three of those scenes. There will likely be scenes with other characters like Snow or Coin as well (gotta remind people of the conflict). And according to a message received by some in the entertainment media, the “Mockingjay will be heard.”

We can’t wait.


The Unofficial Mockingjay Part 1 Drinking Game

Now that we’ve all likely got our hands on a copy of Mockingjay Part 1, it’s time to return to an old tradition!

We realized today that we never did one of these for Catching Fire (Here’s The Hunger Game version), which is an utter shame because we really would have loved a complete set! Still, it’s time to grab your DVD or Digital HD copy and prepare foooorrrr…


The way it's meant to be!

The way it’s meant to be!


Your poison of choice (or, you know, water..)

One regular glass

One shot glass

An underwhelming sense of dignity

Take a gulp when…

Someone references “The Mockingjay”

Boggs escorts Katniss or alerts her that she needs to be somewhere

Prim gives Katniss sympathetic doe eyes

Katniss totally loses it over Peeta

Someone talks about Beetee breaking through the Capitol’s systems

President Snow has a shiny new scene

Cressida’s role is much bigger than it was in the books

Tears glisten in a character’s eyes

Buttercup is more endearing than the humans in the scene



Down the glass or bottle when…

Gale gets indignant on behalf of the rebellion

Something blows up. ANYTHING.

Sam Claflin’s British accent breaks through a bit

Take a shot when…

Coin gives a speech and you think “I can see right through your act, bitch!”

In your opinion, the scene in question could have totally been traded out for one of the deleted scenes


Got your own brilliant suggestion for The Hunger Games movie drinking game? Leave it in the comments and we’ll add in our favorites!